Minnesota Ducks Unlimited Volunteer Spotlight

When you volunteer with Ducks Unlimited, you join a family of conservationists. We come from all walks of life, but have one thing in common: a commitment to conservation.

Our reasons for that commitment may vary. Many of us want to preserve our hunting heritage. Others want to see full skies of waterfowl for generations to come. Still others want to conserve the wetlands and special places they've grown to love. No matter why you volunteer with Ducks Unlimited, we're glad to have you on board.

Let us introduce you to a few other dedicated DU volunteers. (And for MN volunteer spotlights from 2010, visit our archive.

Scott Christensen, Central MN

Scott Christensen

Scott got involved with DU about 14 years ago when he was asked by a neighbor and good friend if I would like to go to the Meeker County DU banquet. The following year he was asked to be on DU committee; well, that's all she wrote. 

He soon got involved by being the membership chairman, with the help of his wonderful wife Michelle. Michelle has also been a big part of our local chapter. Scott was the area chairman for 3 years and then moved on to a zone chair position for the Central Region. As zone chair, he helped restart the Little Crow Chapter in Spicer. "I get a lot of satisfaction out of being a zone chairman when I can use my knowledge and experience to help other chapters, plan and set up and run their events". HIs latest volunteer opportunity came when I was appointed to the state volunteer recruitment coordinator position in 2013.

He is still very active in his local chapter.  In 2013, he recruited five new Major Donor pledges through our Meeker County sponsor event. He and his wife also pledged to become life sponsors so that we could support DU’s Living Lakes Initiative program in Minnesota.

Ross McHugh, Metro MN

Ross and DU CEO Dale Hall at the Minnesota DU State Convention this past February

Ross started duck hunting in junior high school with a few close friends. He grew up on the Snake River in Pine City and always enjoyed seeing the ducks and geese in his backyard. He said, “I would say that, after my first hunt, I was definitely hooked into waterfowl hunting.”

Ross started volunteering with DU in his second year at UMD. It was a relatively new chapter and he found out that it was a great way to meet some people that had the same interests. The group began doing a lot of hunting in the Duluth area and even made a couple trips out to North Dakota (when they were not doing homework.) As Ross’s years went by at UMD, he moved to a leadership role with the chapter. He really enjoyed getting younger people to join and tried to make it a fun, lighthearted time to make some money for DU, but also to enjoy the camaraderie of other duck hunters.

To sum up his volunteer experiences, Ross said, “I really enjoy volunteering with DU because you get to meet great people that are committed to the same cause. It is also the best way to give back to the sport which I love.”

Todd Sittig, Southwest MN

Todd sporting his Lake Crystal DU tattoo at Game Fair last year.

Being a hunter his whole life and moving to southern Minnesota about seventeen years ago and not really knowing anyone in the area, it seemed like the right fit when Jerry Lee Kopischke invited Todd to the Lake Crystal Ducks Unlimited banquet event. Little did he know that going to this one event would have such lasting impact on his life. Todd states, "I became a member of DU, then joined the LCDU committee, became Co-chair of the Lake Crystal Chapter, and met my future wife, not exactly in that order."

Todd went to banquets and had a very good time, won a few things and bid on few other things. A few years later, he was asked to be on the committee, As a committee member, Todd did many different things to make the banquet a success along with the other members of our group. A couple of years ago he was asked to co-chair the LCDU committee with Darrel Ehlers. They have about 20+ guys on the committee who start meeting every Monday from January until the banquet in April. He indicates, "I have enjoyed my time with DU so much that on my 50th birthday I went and got my first tattoo; and what else would it be, but the Minnesota DU state logo and L.C.D.U. underneath it."

Tim Oie, Central Minnesota
Tim enjoys his time helping DU.

Tim Oie has 25 years of volunteer experience with DU. He has been the Area Chairman for the Elk River Chapter and, as a Zone Chairman, he was instrumental in starting the Zimmerman DU chapter. The reason for Tim’s commitment is best described in his own words:

“I started out volunteering about 25 years ago. Some years later I went to the Elk River banquet and talked to some of the guys, and the next year, I was asked to be the ticket chairman. This was just after I got married, and I would be at meetings once or twice a week, so finally my wife Linda joined in and started helping at the events and has been doing do ever since. My family has been very supportive of my commitment to DU. Now my son, Justin, is following in my footsteps as a DU volunteer and that makes me very proud.

“The one thing that drives me as a DU volunteer more than anything is my love of all wildlife and the desire to pass this on to future generations.”

Jerry Weltzin, Southeast MN
Jerry works hard for DU as a volunteer and as a mentor to young hunters.

Jerry’s DU background started in 1992 when he went on his first ever duck hunting trip near Cottonwood, MN. Then he attended his first ever DU dinner event and was hooked. After a couple years attending the Zumbrota chapter dinner events, he became the area chair for several years. Then he was asked to step up to Zone Chair and he has been volunteering in that capacity since. Jerry and his wife attend the State Convention when time allows and are now Life Sponsors in Perpetuity. “The sponsorships each year add up to a life sponsor fairly fast when you go to a lot of events in one year. Our grand daughter Sophia was the first Legacy Greenwing in our chapter and now we have more. Some one makes the first move and others soon follow.”

Jerry continues to hunt and mentors to other young hunters. He invited a young man from his church, who he sponsored for confirmation, along to their cabin at the lake. “He loved it. He has become a part of our local committee and I hope he can stay with DU for his lifetime. The friends I’ve made and the good times I’ve had are some very good memories.”

Scott Schmidt, Central MN
Scott Schmidt, Central MN
Scott Schmidt and his hunting buddy enjoy a day in the field.

Scott Schmidt grew up enjoying hunting and fishing trips with his dad. He got involved with DU about 10 years ago when a friend invited him to attend a local DU committee meeting. "Not knowing what Ducks Unlimited was really about, I soon learned that it was more than just a group of duck hunters. It was a group of people who were passionate about preserving and protecting our environment and its natural resources." Now a zone chair, State Council member and State Convention Committee volunteer, Scott works with several chapters to help them focus on the big three: volunteer recruitment, fill the halls and event efficiency. "My experience with DU has been enjoyable, rewarding and satisfying to say the least. Knowing what you do for DU is actually making a difference by giving us cleaner water, improving our wetlands and grassland is very rewarding. The most satisfying aspect is to help put more birds in the skies not only for hunters, but for all people to enjoy. Another important part of DU is the opportunity to get young people involved in the organization as Greenwings. My three daughters are involved with DU and are learning to appreciate and value the outdoors. Over the years as a DU volunteer I have met some of the most interesting, amazing and wonderful people. During this time I have made lifelong friends both here close to home and across the country. One of the greatest things about DU is the dedication of its volunteers. Everyone is truly passionate about what DU does. This is why I am a DU volunteer."

Are You Ready?

Are you ready to join the Ducks Unlimited team?

Become a volunteer! It's a great way to have fun, meet new people and support DU's conservation work.

Event Types:

For more information about volunteering for Ducks Unlimited in Minnesota, contact:

Scott Chistensen
Volunteer Recruitment Chair
Litchfield, MN

MN Volunteer Spotlight Archive - 2012